We’ve launched KCOM Invest to help stimulate business growth in the Hull and East Yorkshire economy and help create new, sustainable jobs for local people.
As part of KCOM Invest we have launched a new fund called the KCOM Invest Fund:
What is the KCOM Invest Fund?
It’s an investment fund of £300,000 that KCOM has made available to provide start-up and growth financing for businesses in the digital and technology sectors.
Who manages the KCOM Invest Fund?
Business support experts the Acorn Fund and Sirius manage the fund on KCOM’s behalf. They have extensive knowledge in supporting individuals to turn their business dreams into reality and have worked together across the region for many years.
What type of businesses are classed as being in the digital and technology sectors?
The type of business eligible for a KCOM Invest loan could be anything from one producing or selling a high tech product to a web-based retailer – any business where technology, or digital media is integral.
What are the other eligibility criteria?
Applicants can apply for funding to either help establish a business or to expand an already successful small business. The business needs to be based in Hull or the East Riding of Yorkshire.
What are the details of the loans available?
Loans of anywhere between £1,000 and £25,000 are available. The repayment period will typically be up to three years and the interest rate 14%, considerably lower than typical bank interest charges.
Is any grant funding available?
Limited grant funding will be offered to fund market research or feasibility studies where this is necessary before a decision about loan financing can be made.
How are applications for funding assessed?
The Acorn Fund and Sirius have committees already set up to assess applications for funding and these are used to assess applications for KCOM Invest funding too, with the addition of a representative of KCOM on the committee.
How do I apply to the KCOM Invest Fund?
You can choose to work with either the Acorn Fund or Sirius to complete your application to the KCOM Invest Fund. You can only apply to the KCOM Invest Fund through one of these organisations. Some information about them and how they can support your business is below.
About the Acorn Fund
The Acorn Fund is a registered Community Development Finance Initiative (CDFI). Until 2010 it was funded wholly by Hull City Council; since it has been able to source outside funding to enable it to work outside of Hull moving into the East Riding of Yorkshire and North East Lincolnshire.
The fund provides financial support to local start-up businesses and existing businesses excluded from traditional sources of commercial funding, working closely with other business support agencies in the regions it covers.
The Acorn Fund’s key objective is to promote, encourage and support entrepreneurship in Hull, East Yorkshire and North East Lincolnshire to increase job creation and business sustainability.
Since the Fund was set up it has supported more than 1,300 businesses and created or safeguarded more than 4,000 jobs.
Peter Sykes, Acorn Fund Manager
Sirius is a registered Enterprise Agency set up by BP at Saltend in 1999 with funding of £1m to invest in the economic future of the local area.
It offers business loans, typically between £5,000 and £7,000 for people seeking to establish or expand a business in Hull and Holderness. It also gives advice and guidance in business planning and management, both directly and through a network of business mentors and support agencies.
Sirius also advises applicants about other potential sources of funding and has close working relationships with local banks.
Since Sirius was set up it has loaned £2m to 280 businesses, creating 1,500 jobs.